Every day nature amazes us with it’s endless beauty and it’s scary weather! From the sun rising in the morning, to beautiful bluebell woods, the life cycle of every animal on the planet, there’s no denying it; nature is pretty amazing. I am often dreaming of summer and hanging out in a hammock watching the world and the butterflies go by.
But sometimes, nature can need a little helping hand, and if you have little ones, it’s always a great idea to educate them about the importance of nature and that we should care for it as much as we can. One of the easiest ways to do this, is to make your garden a wildlife haven for creatures great and small.
Apple trees are good in any garden. They flower for the pollinators, and produce fruit for you to eat – but in truth, any tree would make a great home for birds of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a Thuja Green Giant from The Tree Center or a beautiful birch or fruit tree, Trees, and hedges offer roosting and nesting sites for birds and mammals, as well as valuable shelter and cover from the elements and possible predators.
Lawns for example, especially areas of un-cut long grass, are an important habitat for all sorts of insects and minibeasts, not to mention a feasting ground for the hungry birds which feed on them.
Borders, filled with flowering plants and shrubs, give nectar rich food to butterflies and bees, as well as seeds, berries and cover for birds and small mammals.
Ponds and water features can be a habitat for a huge variety of animal life, from amphibians and invertebrates to bathing garden birds.
Even woodpiles, compost and trimmings, the decomposing and discarded off-cuts from your garden, can be incredible places for animals to live, feed and hibernate.
Breeding and sheltering
Growing climbers against walls can provide brilliant shelter, as well as roosting and breeding sites for birds.
Trees, bushes and hedgerows can also be great havens for the bird world, as well as small mammals like hedgehogs. As a place for cover from predators and a safe spot to build a nest, these can be invaluable.
Providing bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog homes can be a great way of introducing good artificial shelters into nature. Natural roosting and nesting sites can be increasingly hard for animals to find and our gardens give us the chance to give them an ongoing safe alternative.
Butterflies need breeding sites too, and growing the right plants can give them a place to breed and lay their eggs. Honesty and hedge garlic can be good for orange tip butterflies and buckthorn bushes are favourites for breeding brimstones.
A range of plants which flower and seed at varied times throughout the year, will provide food for the animals and insects that are active and feeding over different periods.
Berry bushes and fruit trees will give another source of valuable and irresistible seasonal food. Ivy is a great source of autumn nectar for insects and late winter fruit for birds.